Time for a nice short review! Haven’t done one of those in a while…
Review – 21 Jump Street
2012, 109 mins, 15, Dir. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube.
Very recently, comedy actor Jonah Hill was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the biographical sport drama Moneyball. If this honour spurred him on to try and achieve new levels of acting credibility, then the release of his newest film 21 Jump Street is exceedingly ill-timed. It’s a remake of the 1980s TV series of the same name, which revolved around several young-looking undercover police officers investigating crimes in high schools, and which actually addressed some very serious issues of the time (alcoholism, AIDS, child abuse, homophobia). Co-written by Hill himself and with Channing Tatum also starring, this actually leans more towards the crass comedy of Superbad than the crime drama of the original series. In parts, it does work; Ice Cube gives a spirited turn as Captain Dickson and the cameo scene is initially brilliant. Yet the film is lacking something. Despite two (admittedly) good performances from Hill and Tatum, the script is weak, with numerous inconsistencies, too much extraneous profanity and underwritten characters; most importantly, it just isn’t funny enough. Which is a shame, as the film has some great ideas (it actually marginally exceeded my expectations) but eventually goes so far overboard that it ends up heavily discomforting the audience. Those who see it will know instantly what I’m talking about. Not awful, but it certainly could have been better.
2 stars out of 5